Saturday, 26 March 2005
Frankie Minoza of the Philippines will have a magical 59 in his sights when he returns to Cengkareng Golf Club in Jakarta to complete his third round after picking up eight birdies in 14 holes before play in the Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesia Open was suspended for the day.

Minoza, a two time winner of the Indonesia Open, needs three more birdies in his final four holes when he returns to the course in the morning to post a 59, although it will not count in the record books as preferred lies are in operation. There have been 11 official 60s on The European Tour International Schedule but that barrier is yet to be breached.

Minoza enjoyed a stunning run from the fifth hole with an eagle on the ninth, where he chipped in from 30 yards, sandwiched between six birdies. Despite bogeying the 13th, Minoza lies just one stroke off the pace held by Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant.

When play was halted, Minoza was on the 15th green and facing a putt of 15 feet for birdie. If he can pull off three more birdies in four holes, the 45-year-old, a six-time winner in Japan, will be the first to shoot a 59 on both the Asian Tour and European Tour, although the preferred lie ruling today would not make it an official record.

"This place (Indonesia) seems to like me. I'm surprised," said Minoza, winner of the Indonesia Open in 1986 and 1990. "My putter was good. One more day to go and anything can happen. The delays are making all of us very tired though. I was up before 5am today to complete six holes of round two. Then there the long delays but I just kept busy by practising my short game when possible," he said.

Joining Minoza on 14 under par is Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who successfully defended his Carlsberg Malaysian Open title last month, the former paratrooper picking up six birdies in his first 11 holes.

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts is also on 14 under par along with Singapore’s Mardan Mamat.

Halfway leader Wiratchant, who owns one of the most unorthodox swings on the circuit, completed nine holes of his third round before play was suspended for the day as darkness fell, advancing to 15 under par thanks to a birdie on the fifth, although he was lucky to still be leading. A wayward drive on the ninth found thick bushes and he was about to declare it as a lost ball before the gallery found it, much to his delight.

"I was lucky. I think there was 30 seconds left on the clock to look for the ball and I'd given up," he said. “Now, I'll have to prepare myself for a 27 hole session tomorrow but it's good to still be leading."

Earlier, the resumption of the weather-disrupted second round started only at 11am local time following a three and a half hour delay in the morning.

The third round will resume at 7.30am on Sunday, with the players remaining in the same groupings for the fourth round, which is scheduled to tee off at 8.50am. The leaders are due to start the final round at 11am.

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